Interview: Ms. Natashya Phillips Coutinho, MD and CEO, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems Pvt. Ltd.

Natashya Phillips Coutinho
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Natashya Phillips Coutinho, CEO & MD of Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems Pvt. Ltd.

This is the interview of Ms. Natashya Phillips Coutinho, Woman Entrepreneur, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems Pvt. Ltd.

Tell us a little about yourself

Natashya: I was born in Chandigarh and we moved to Pune when I was 4. I am the youngest of 3 children. My school and college were done in Pune.

I never really like studying much though I did manage to graduate with distinction in Commerce. Personally, I am an extrovert and I am also very ambitious.

I started working from a very young age – pretty much right after school and have worked in different fields and sectors.

My first job in fact was in the health sector where I worked in 3 gyms in Pune as an aerobics instructor – aerobics was big back in those days. I then worked with BPL mobile for 3 years in the telemarketing sector.

Once I finished my graduation, I worked with WNS and then IBM India as a soft skills trainer, team manager and instructional designer and had a lot of learning there.

I then moved to IBM Global as a Delivery Project manager where I was responsible for managing training for the sales team in North America, Europe, CEE and MEA – so about 22 years of work experience till dat

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Natashya: The business idea to be honest was not something that we spent a lot of time strategizing about – it actually just came to us. Luke was very clear that his passion was meeting clients and helping people with their health goal.

I came with my work experience of HR, training and project management, and so it was very easy for us to define our roles and how we wanted to take things forward.

We also knew right from the start that we wanted to be an online company. Living in Mumbai we knew how expensive real estate was. We started off with Luke meeting clients in coffee shops and then communicating with them over the phone and emails – it worked for us and became part of our model.

What services do you offer?

Natashya: This is an important question because a lot of people don’t know what all we offer – we have created an integrative ecosystem for our clients – we have a platform that consists of clinical dieticians, nutritionists, doctors, psychologists, life couches, emotional counsellors and yoga experts.

We offer one on one consultations, depending on what our clients need. A client can choose to have a one-on-one consultation with either Luke or any of our consultants from our panel of experts.

Depending on some cases, they might also need to sign up for a 3-to-6-month customized program with us, where we focus on analysing their parameters and work towards bringing their levels down to normal.

We also have the Luke’s wellness market (LWM) – which is a platform that is a one stop shop for all our clients who are looking for clean and organic food items and household amenities.

We realised a lot of our clients would come to us asking us where they could find organic food and that’s how we decided to create the LWM.

What is unique about your business?

Natashya: We don’t just look at a quick fix for our clients – we really look at getting to the root cause of what the issue is and then we work backwards.

We don’t just want to service a client, we don’t just want to have them enrol for a program – we want to change their lives and we do this every day, which is what makes this job so rewarding.

We also have to keep reinventing the wheel – the world is changing so fast and we have to constantly change to meet the needs of our clients and ensure we are able to still give them what they need.

What made you choose this type of business?

Natashya: At the sound of sounding very philosophical – I think the business chose us. It was a passion that Luke had that eventually turned into this amazing organisation that we have created.

When it comes to our team members too, we have really gotten lucky with the right people coming to us that have the same mission and vision as us.

What was your mission at the outset?

Natashya: Our mission has always been around helping people meet their health goals in the simplest most holistic way possible. We want to make sure we always have their best interest in mind.

The team genuinely cares about their clients, so many of our team members who have been servicing the same clients for years are almost like an extension to their family 🙂

How many employees in your organization?

Natashya: We are a team of 104 members comprising of clinical dieticians, nutritionists, doctors, psychologists, life couches, emotional counsellors and yoga expert.

What’s your company’s goals?

Natashya: We put ‘care’ back into ‘Healthcare.’ Our aim is to address the disease from its roots to parallelly change LIFESTYLE, which involves the way we eat, sleep, move and think.

We believe that if an incorrect lifestyle has caused a disease, then a corrective lifestyle can improve it too. 

Our programs are personalised and customised according to our client’s lifestyle and revolves around the four pillars of good health – Quality Sleep, Balanced Nutrition, Emotional Detox and Adequate Exercise.

How do you build a successful customer base?

Natashya: We have as a company grown very organically, we have most of our clients coming to us through word of mouth from our existing clients and the positive experience they have had with us.

Over the last few years social media has also been a huge contributor towards growing our customer base and awareness.

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

Natashya: As a company, we are growing and changing with the needs and demands of the hour so I won’t really say we have not had any failures, but things that have gone wrong are more like lessons for us – we learn from them and we change for the better.

We have not had any major setbacks and we thank God for that. I think technology might be one of the areas that is still work in progress for us.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

Natashya: I don’t have just one person that inspires me – it’s an ongoing journey for me. Different people in my life have inspired me from my parents, my brother and sister, my husband, my daughter, family members, my sister-in-law, my friends, so many of my team members inspire me, even some of our clients inspire me when I hear their success stories.

For me, I have always found inspiration from real people – celebrities and influencers don’t always cut it for me because I feel there is always something about them that we might know about because so much about their lives are staged. The real people whose lives I actually know about, around me inspire me the most.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Natashya: I have a major foot in mouth problem and I mentioned this recently in another interview as well.

I sometimes say things without thinking about the consequences and I feel it’s so important that we say the right things, and if we are not able to, then just not commenting or making a statement might also help rather than unintentionally offending or hurting people.

I think it made me realize how necessary it is to hold on to my thoughts and not always say the first thing that comes to my mind – especially professionally.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Natashya: My advice to anyone starting out is that they shouldn’t be in a hurry. Hard work eventually pays out. I had one of my managers tell me – that we just need to focus on the work at hand – work hard and the money will come.

Does your company help the community or society?

Natashya: Yes of course we do. We are a part of many initiatives that work towards helping the community. Since cancer care is something that is very close to our heart, we run quite a few initiatives around this in association with Tata memorial hospital in Mumbai specially for the children’s paediatric ward.

We work closely with art of living, supporting their CSR initiatives in monetary and education ways. We support the monthly running of Amazing Grace – an old age home in Goa.